In recent months, more and more countries are making a commitment to electric cars. Indeed, the UK has recently announced that it will no longer sell any diesel or petrol automobiles by the year 2040. There seems to be no doubt that this is the direction in which the industry is heading, but the question remains whether you should buy one now or at some point in the future. As with anything in life, your best way of determining what the right thing to do is to weigh up all the pros and cons. So, this guide is here to give you an overview of some of the major advantages and disadvantages to give you a helping hand.
Pro – Cheaper to Run
Once you have an electric car, you will undoubtedly start to make some savings when it comes to the running costs and maintenance. Electricity is readily available in most areas and it is much more affordable than filling up with petrol or diesel on a regular basis. It has been estimated that the cost of ‘refueling’ your car is between a third and a quarter cheaper. Without the exhaust systems and need for oil changes, you don’t encounter so many problems with regards to maintenance. All you need to do is the usual rotation of the tyres and make sure they are properly rotated.
Con – Higher Initial Cost
Since we have already talked about the advantage of the cheaper running costs, it makes sense to mention the higher initial price. Most of the current batch are likely to be a few thousand more expensive than equivalent petrol or diesel cars. Over time, this price tag is likely to reduce as mass production costs kick in, but you will want to ask yourself whether it is worth waiting or whether you think you should make the investment straight away. When you are doing your calculations, it is worth taking the cheaper fuel and maintenance costs into account.
Pro – Home Recharging
Rather than having to go through the effort of driving over to the gas station every time you need to refuel your car, you can instead recharge from the comfort of your own home. Once you have a charging inlet installed, all hassle is taken away and many people choose to power up their cars overnight. This may present an issue for people living in condos or apartment, but as the electric car continues to advance in popularity, more and more stations will become available.
Con – Limited Range
One of the main issues that people have with electric cars is that they have a limited range before they need recharging. While filling up at a gas station gives you a couple of hundred miles range in a matter of minutes, it takes about an hour to get 20 to 25 miles when charging from a 240-volt source. As we have already mentioned, a lot of people will choose to do their charging overnight and most models have about 80 or 100 miles of range before they need to be ‘filled up’ again. While this is absolutely fine for your average commuter, it may pose a problem for people who are looking to make long journeys on a regular basis. However, electric car batteries are improving every year and some of the latest models are now giving upwards of 200 miles off a single charge.
Pro – No Tailpipe Emissions
The reason that so many world governments are looking to encourage people to use electric cars is that they don’t give off any tailpipe emissions. Pretty much all researchers agree that electric cars are significantly better for the environment than their petrol or diesel counterparts. This is especially true in regions where renewable energy is prominent, and if you have home solar in your house, the environmental benefits can end up being significant. If protecting air quality is important to you, there is no doubt that an electric car is a fantastic purchase to make.
Con – Lack of Choice
At present, there aren’t as many options on the market as you would get from the more traditional car types but this is set to change in the future. If you are thinking of investing in your first vehicle then it is worth checking out MyFirstCarGuide.com to help you consider your options. Some manufacturers are setting stringent targets that they are aiming for. For example, Volvo have announced that all their cars are going to be electric or hybrid from 2019. Again, it is up to you whether or not you think it is worth waiting until more consumer choice becomes available in the future.
Pro – Speedy and Quiet
Before driving an electric car for the first time, some people have reservations that it is not going to be all that powerful. However, all this changes from the second they set foot on the accelerator and a surge of power is sent rushing straight to the wheels. And you will also probably be amazed by just how quiet and smooth the ride is. You will probably also notice the difference most when you get behind the wheel of a petrol or diesel car again!
Con – Overloaded Batteries
Of course, batteries are at the heart of an electric car. As well as powering the car itself, they also have the strain of running all the vehicle’s accessories including air conditioners, radios etc. And as we have already talked about, recharging them takes time. The required battery packs are also heavy, weighing upwards of 1,000 pounds which puts even more strain on the batteries themselves.
In the future, it seems that electric cars will certainly dominate the marketplace, but what you have to decide is whether or not it is worth investing in one now. After reading through some of the top pros and cons involves, you have hopefully got a better idea of which way you are leaning.